The Way is Shut

The Dads do not suffer the dogs to pass.

Easement Acres gets its share of odd projects.  And this time it’s for muddy paw mitigation.

Say it’s nice enough to leave the door open.  Say I want to enjoy the deck.  Say I also want to let the dogs enjoy the weather because I’m an awesome dog dad.  But also say that the backyard isn’t dry, and say the dogs like to run and I can’t keep grass growing back there so it’s’ a mud pit.  And finally, say that politely instructing dogs to not leave the deck has little effect.  What to do?

Simple.  Shove a kiddie pool against the stairs and wedge it with the grill.

Or, something slightly less trashy…

A gate!

Not a novel solution I suppose.  Somewhere along the line someone figured out barriers need access points and invented such a device.  But I still had to create one that fit my exact needs, so I still get man points!

Behold, my adjustable retainer! The bolt can be loosened to account for changing tolerances.
And another fine application of an existing invention.
A gravity latch. Oooooo.

The whippet has since thanked me by peeing on the floor.  But what she hasn’t realized yet is that I can also lock her in the yard, thus depriving her of deck furniture cushions in the sun once the weather warms.  We’ll see who has the last laugh then!

Naughty dog projects.


String Lights

I’m not sure if we’re going for a roadside shanty theme, but our growing string light setup is certainly more pleasant to look at from afar than the standard suburban system of single-bulb external illumination.  The overlapping fields of small-lumen bulbs provide a less invasive experience to the human eye, which I’m finding quite superior to everyone else’s practice of buying the brightest bulbs available to replace their standard garage and patio fixtures.

These are people who’ve forgotten how to use their outdoor space, and in an act of suburban paranoia, take crime-reduction advice to an extreme.  Yes, illuminating your entire property with theater stage lights will indeed make any criminals visible, but someone still has to see the criminal to know he’s there, and that system relies on other people in the neighborhood.  But with lights so bright now, I’m gradually planting bushes and constructing barriers to block those critical views.  You might have sufficient light to land helicopters, but now no one can see your yard to report crime, including you, because you’re inside.

Also I hate you now, because you’re making my own outdoor space less relaxing.

But enough of the grumbling.  Here’s our new deck lights!

It does make things a little cozier.  The prior lights were strung along the eaves, but the effect was a backlight that brought the deck in rather than inviting its full space.  I’m looking forward to their shining through the hydrangeas.

But waste not!  The old lights got a renewed purpose on our front porch.

Both sets are on light-sensing timers, so bonus in that I don’t have to remember to turn on lights for delivery services either.

All in all, their aesthetics might suggest rustic homeliness, but I’ll take the alternative to the typical sterile prefab over-lit house theme in these here parts.

Also I make good crab cakes.